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20 Weekend Getaways From Mumbai

Discussion in 'Destination Guides' started by Debapriya Deb, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Are you bored of the daily grind at the hectic life in a metro and looking for a quick short trip in close proximity to Mumbai? Be it the mountains or the beaches, heritage sites or natural splendor, adventure destinations or secluded retreats - Mumbai is blessed with a diversified range of tourist attractions that can leave you speechless!

    In-case you are in search for a quiet hideout to unwind and rejuvenate your dieing spirits, then you are at the right place. Here goes a collection of 20 inviting weekend getaways from Mumbai that can help you in finding the much needed peace of mind amidst nature's bounty of treasures. So join us in exploring the interesting places in and around the Mumbai city. Let the countdown begin!

    Best Weekend Getaways from Mumbai - The Top 20

    20. Mandwa

    Distance: 98 KM
    Travel Time: 2 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Beach, Adventure
    Best Suited For: Trips with Family or Friends

    Mandwa is a little beach hamlet situated in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is one the closest weekend getaways from Mumbai which offers a lovely beach and water sports activities. From being an unknown entity, Mandwa has evolved as one of the prime destinations in Maharashtra for water sports activities during the last few years.

    The place is accessible by both sea and land, however because of the availability of direct ferry services from the Gateway of India jetty, tourists from Mumbai prefer the waterways transport compared to the roadways. Parasailing and kayaking in the Arabian sea are the primary activities that attract the tourists at this lovely beach. Apart from that you can also try out jet-skiing, banana boat ride, bumper tube ride, surf boarding and paddle boarding at the Mandwa beach. Not to forget the spectacular views of sunset that can be seen from the sea-shore. If you are planning for a day trip, make sure to stay there till the sun bids adieu for the day.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Lazing around and sun-bathing on the beautiful golden sandy beach.
    2. Prasailing
    3. Jet-skiing
    4. Banana Boat and Bumper Tube Ride
    5. Surf-boarding and Paddle-boarding.
    6. Kayaking
    7. Catching the mesmerizing sunset views from the beach.

    19. Kolad

    Distance: 121 KM
    Travel Time: 2.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Nature, Adventure, History
    Best Suited For: Trips with Family or Friends

    Situated at a distance of 121 KM from Mumbai City, Kolad is a picturesque village setup on the banks of Kundalika River. Surrounded by lush greenery, Kolad has the potential to impress the visitors at the first sight. The place is frequented by adrenaline junkies due to the prospect of white water rafting on the Kundalika River and outdoor camping around the river bed and the Kolad dam. The 14 KM downstream rafting stretch, which has Grade 1 and 2 rapids, is an ideal place for the beginners to gain experience. Besides rafting and camping, there are a whole lot of adventure activities for you to explore here, including rappelling, kayaking and parasailing.

    For the nature lovers on a family vacation, visiting the Tamhini Falls is a must, especially during the monsoon time. The hills surrounded Bhira Dam is another interesting spot to explore. The surrounding areas come alive in the rainy days when a number of waterfalls spring up to mesmerize the tourists. You may also explore the historic Kuda Caves - which is a group of 26 rock-carved shelters used by the Buddhist monks between the 1st centure BC to the 3rd Century AD. If you are interested in trekking, then set out towards Devi Kedar Janani Hill and Sutarwadi Lake. History lovers might be interested to visit the Ghosala Fort and Tala Fort located at close proximity to Kolad.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Kolad Dam for outdoor camping and boating.
    2. Kundalika River for white water rafting and kayaking.
    3. Timhini Waterfalls
    4. Kuda Caves
    5. Bhira Dam
    6. Parasailing over the paddy fields along the bank of Kundalika River.
    7. Devi Kedar Janani Hills
    8. Sutrawadi Lake

    18. Rajmachi

    Distance: 95 KM
    Travel Time: 2 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Nature, Adventure, History, Wildlife
    Best Suited For: Trips with Friends

    While Khandala and Lonadala enjoy much of the limelight, the adjacent village of Rajmachi largely remains off the radar for most of the tourists. Nestled between the rugged terrains of Sahyadri Mountain Range, Rajmachi is a picturesque village with solid historical significance. It used to be a strategic viewpoint overlooking the historic trade route of Borghat during the times of Great Maratha ruler Shivaji Maharaj.

    Rajamchi has not one, but two citadels, namely Shrivardhan Fort and Manaranjan Fort. These fortresses have served as the strongholds of Shivaji Maharaj and Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Another important historical site at Rajmachi is Kondhavi Caves. Known for its creative rock carvings from the bygone era of 200 BC, the historic caves attract a large number of heritage tourists and students.

    Besides those heritage sites, Rajmachi is also noted for its scenic brilliance. The lush green undulating hills decorated with a number of lovely waterfalls serve as an ideal picnic spot. The Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary, with its rich collection of endemic species of wild animals, is another reason to visit this remote village. Apart from that, Rajmachi is also a popular trekking hub with a number of offbeat trails to explore.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Shrivardhan Fort
    2. Manaranjan Fort
    3. Trekking from Karjat to Rajmachi and Lonavala to Rajmachi
    4. Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary for jungle safari.
    5. Kondhavi Caves

    17. Matheran

    Distance: 83 KM
    Travel Time: 2 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 - 2 Days
    Destination Category: Hills, Nature
    Best Suited For: Couples, Trips with Friends

    Located pretty close to Mumbai in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, this quaint little hill station is blessed with nature's untouched serenity. One of the abodes of eco-tourism in the state of Maharashtra, Matheran attracts lots of Mumbaikars to spend a quiet, peaceful vacation on the lap of nature. The sunrise at Matheran is charming, while the sight of the setting sun is equally impressive.

    Except for lazing around and cherishing its rich natural splendor, there's not much to do at this little paradise. However, you can always catch some of the most spectacular views of lush green surroundings from the designated view points. Louisa Point, Alexander Point and Panorama Point offer breathtaking views of the undulating hills and distant valleys. Do make sure to visit the tranquil Charlotte Lake set amidst picturesque surroundings. It makes for an ideal picnic spot. Another great idea would be to trek to the ruins of the historical Prabal Fort, perched on a hill-top and wrapped in a canopy of thick forests. It used to serve as an important citadel for the Great Shivaji Maharaj.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Lousia Point for spectacular views of sunrise.
    2. Alexander Point to busk in the glory of the setting sun.
    3. Panorama Point for a wide-angle view of the surrounding mountain ranges and lush green valleys.
    4. Charlotte Lake for a romantic evening stroll.
    5. Trekking to the historical Prabal Fort.

    16. Velas

    Distance: 225 KM
    Travel Time: 4.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 - 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, History
    Best Suited For: Couples, Trips with Friends

    A 4.5 hours' drive can take you to the little beach village of Velas. Located in the remote parts of Ratnagiri district in the state of Maharashtra, Velas boasts of a pristine sea shore surrounded by mountains on three sides. This little-known beach destination has attracted the attention of tourists due to the Olive Ridley turtles - that have made Velas beach as their nesting ground.

    During the nesting season, you will be able to spot the turtle hatchlings making their way into the Arabian Sea. It is really a wonderful experience to see them dive into the crystal-esque waters right after birth. Apart from the turtles, Velas does have a few more interesting places to explore. There are as many as five beautiful stretches of sandy beaches along the coast-line, all of which are largely devoid of too many tourists. So do make sure to take time out for visiting the beaches in Bankot, Guhagar, Hedvi, Dapoli and Diveagar. If you love visiting heritage sites, then the Himmatgadh Fort located at Bankot village can serve you well. And yeah, Velas is also renowned for its lip-smacking Konkani dishes, so if you are foodie, then that can be the added incentive of planning a trip to Velas.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Velas Beach for casual strolls along the coastline.
    2. Catching the impeccable views of sunset.
    3. Turtle nesting ground at the beach
    4. Himmatgadh Fort
    5. Exploring nearby beaches like Hedvi, Valneshwar and Dapoli.

    15. Kashid

    Distance: 121 KM
    Travel Time: 4 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 - 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, Nature, History, Wildlife
    Best Suited For: Couples, Trips with Friends

    If you are looking for a quiet beach retreat not too far off from Mumbai, then Kashid fits the bill perfectly. One of the most alluring beaches of Maharashtra, the Kashid beach promises an idyllic beach holiday. Just 121 Km away from the bustling Mumbai city, Kashid is popular for its long stretch of white sandy beach and crystalline blue waters. Surrounded by the lofty Casuarina and palm trees, the beach sports an elegant outlook that can mesmerize any nature lover. Unwinding at this pristine sea-shore, with the soothing breeze as a constant companion, you can be assured of a revitalizing vacation if you decide to visit Kashid.

    The adjacent Revdanda Beach, overlooking a historical portugese citadel bordering the sea, is equally captivating. The historic charm coupled with a virgin coastline, it is a must visit place during your Kashid trip. Korlai fort is another place of historical significance located close by. This 14th century fortified structure along with the adjacent lighthouse is situated on a hilly ridge surrounded by waters from three sides. Although mostly in ruins at present, it deserves to be visited for its scenic beauty. The Murud Janjira Fort, situated at a distance of 16 KM from Kashid, also attracts large number of tourists. Wildlife enthusiasts would enjoy paying a visit to the Pansad Bird Sanctuary. Although it mainly serves as the home to the two-winged creatures, several amphibians and mammalian species can also be spotted here. The lush greenery and the fragnance of rich foliage with the constant melodious chirpings of birds make it a truly relaxing spot to visit.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Kashid Beach
    2. Revdanda Beach and Fort
    3. Korlai Fort and Lighthouse
    4. Murud Janjira Fort
    5. Pansad Bird Sanctuary

    14. Lonavala and Khandala

    Distance: 82 KM
    Travel Time: 2 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 - 2 Days
    Destination Category: Hills, Nature, Adventure
    Best Suited For: Couples, Trips with Friends and Family

    Arguably the most visited weekend getaway from Mumbai, the twin hill-stations of Lonavala and Khandala are more of a household names in India - thanks to the Bollywood movies that were shot at this picturesque region.

    Just a couple of hours drive away from Mumbai, Lonavala, cuddled up in the Sahyadri hill ranges, is especially appealing to hikers and trekkers. Famous for its scenic meadows, historic caves and forts, lovely lakes and pleasant weather, you can be assured of a riveting experience at this picturesque location.

    Khandala is situated at a distance of about 3 km from Lonavala. The scenic grassy hills, enchanting valleys and quiant lakes make it a must visit weekend getaway from Mumbai. Rock climbing is the added bonus that compells the adventurists in to visiting this quiant little hill-station.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Tiger's Leap View Point
    2. Bushi Dam
    3. Lonavala Lake
    4. Bhaja and Karla Caves
    5. Lohagad, Koregad and Visapur Fort
    6. Scorpion's Sting Hills and Sausage Hills for trekking.
    7. Trekking to Rajmachi from Lonavala.
    8. Outdoor camping and picnic near the Tungarli Dam.

    13. Bhandardara

    Distance: 165 KM
    Travel Time: 3 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Hills, Nature,
    Best Suited For: Couples, Trips with Friends

    Bhandardara is a hill-station nestled in the Sahayadri mountain ranges in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. Located on the banks of river Pravara, it offers the tourists rejuvenating climate, charming mountains and explicit quietness. A remote paradise with charming landscapes, lush greenery, tranquil lakes, gushing waterfalls and amazing trekking trails - Bhandardara will surely steal your heart away.

    The awe-inspiring scenic beauty and exhilarating treks of Bhandardara provide an ideal blend of serenity and adventure. From the highest mountain peak in Maharashtra, to one of the largest lakes and oldest dams in the country, the place has a lot to offer to the tourists. The Arthur Lake and Wilson Dam, set amidst dense canopied forests of the Sahyadri hills, are the most famous tourist attractions here. The Randha Falls, where a roaring Pravara River descends down from a height of 170 feet into a beautiful gorge, is a sensational sight.

    Bhandardara is also an excellent place for trekkers. Blessed with lush greenery, the valley is dotted with several trekking trails. Towering over Bhandardara like a watchful sentinel, the Mount Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra with an elevation of over 5500 feet, is an irresistable trekking haven. The forest trail that leads you to the 200-year-old Ratangad Fort is another popular trekking route. Harishchandragad Fort, constructed during the medieval era of 6th century, can also be explored while trekking.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Arthur Lake
    2. Winson Dam
    3. Randha Falls
    4. Mount Kalsubai trek
    5. Trekking to Ratnagad Fort
    6. Harishchandragad Fort

    12. Alibag

    Distance: 92 KM
    Travel Time: 2 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, Nature,
    Best Suited For: Couples, Trips with Friends

    Are you on the lookout for a silent, blissful weekend by the beach side? Head to Alibag to unwind at some the most exotic beaches in the state of Maharashtra. Located at a distance of just 92 KM from the Mumbai city, Alibag is an unruffled destination where you can rekindle your dieing spirits in the company of scenic golden beaches, alluring blue waters, allround greenery, historical monuments and tranquil ambience.

    The golden sandy beach at Alibag is edged by tall coconut palms swaying with the gentle sea breeze. The shallow water level and gentle waves make it an excellent place for swimming. It is also a perfect place for a romantic evening stroll with your loved one. The views of sunset from the beach are simply surreal. You can also explore the nearby beaches at Kihim, Nagaon, Varsoli and Mandwa.

    The 16th century sea-facing Kolaba Fort built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is well-known for its architectural grandeur. You can walk up to the fort when the tide is low. The Khanderi Fort, located on a small island at a distance of 4 KM from the Alibag coast-line is another place of historical interest. Head to Chaul, 15 KM away from Alibag, to witness numerous Portuguese ruins and Buddhist caves temples. Located on top of a hill, the ancient Kanakeshwara temple, built in 1764, is another important tourist attraction at Alibag.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Alibag Beach
    2. Kihim, Mandwa, Nagaon and Varsoli Beach
    3. Kolaba Fort
    4. Khanderi Fort
    5. Chaul
    6. Kanakeshwar Temple

    11. Savarkut

    Distance: 373 KM
    Travel Time: 6.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Nature, Adventure
    Best Suited For: Trips with Friends

    You may not have heard about the place before and even Google may not be much of a help, but one visit to this little paradise will make you wanting to return here again and again. A typical Konkani village situated at a distance of 373 KM from Mumbai off Mumbai-Nashik highway, Savarkut remains off the radar for most of the casual tourists - but not for the adventure seekers from Mumbai. Set on the banks of Vaitarna River, it is steadily emerging as a highly sought after river rafting destination in Maharashtra.

    The rugged waters of Vaitarna offer rapids at short intervals which are of Grade 2 and Grade 3. There's a single Grade 5 rapid towards the end of the rafting stint where the river jumps off from a high cliff. What's more, you can also opt for 2 seater kayaks and go on a kayaking spree. Surrounded by several hillocks covered with a thick foliage of tropical flora, trekking on the rugged hilly terrains can be yet another exciting prospect. During the monsoon days, a number of seasonal waterfalls spring up from the hillocks, making it a real treat for the eyes. Apart from that, thrill seekers may also indulge in rappelling and overnight river-side camping to make it a truly memorable weekend trip at Savarkut village.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. White Water Rafting
    2. Kayaking
    3. Trekking and Hiking
    4. Rappelling
    5. River-side Camping.

    10. Malshej Ghats

    Distance: 126 KM
    Travel Time: 3 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Hills, Nature, History
    Best Suited For: Trips with Friends and Family

    A picturesque and exotic spot located at an altitude of 2300 feet above the sea level, Malshej Ghats is an ideal weekend getaway from Mumbai. The place is characterized by the typical atmosphere you can relate to any of the famous hill stations nestled between the lofty peaks of Western Ghats mountain ranges. It is an ideal retreat far away from the monotonous daily schedule. It's a place that allows you to forget the clamor of city life.

    Home to exotic lakes, exquisite waterfalls and lovely mountains, Malshej Ghat is an ideal destination for the nature lovers. The enchanting Pimpalgaon Joga Dam, built on Pushpavati River, is a huge stretch of backwaters which is frequented by a variety of birds. A number of cascading waterfalls can be seen at Malshej Ghats during the monsoon days, but none comes close to the gorgeous Malshej Waterfalls. Set amidst riveting natural backdrop, the sheer beauty of the falls can mesmerize the tourists.

    Hikers and trekkers are also going to love this place due to its diverse topography consisting of hilly ridges, charming valleys and dense evergreen forests. The presence of wildlife sanctuaries with a rich diversity of flora and fauna provides a new dimension for the tourists to explore. On top of that, there are quite a few historic attractions scattered over the entire area making it a distinctive place that should not be left unexplored.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Pimpalgaon Joga Dam
    2. Malshej Waterfalls
    3. Harishchandragad Fort
    4. Ajoba Hill Fort

    9. Panchgani

    Distance: 244 KM
    Travel Time: 5.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Hills, Nature,
    Best Suited For: Couples, Family Trips, Trips with Friends

    Deriving its name from the five undulating hillocks surrounding it, Panchgani is a perfect location to plan a weekend family trip from Mumbai. Perched at an altitude of 4376 feet above the main sea level, Panchgani is blessed with beautiful lakes, breathtaking viewpoints, picturesque landscapes and thickly canopied forestation.
    Kate's Point and Sydney Point are your best bets to experience sunrise and sunset views. The Venna Lake offers you the opportunity to go for a romantic boat ride with your loved one. Don't forget to pay a visit to the refreshing sight of Lingmala Waterfalls, which is a favorite picnic spot for the tourists. Do some adventure caving at the Rajpuri Caves. If mythology is to be believed, then these caves had given shelters to the Pandavas during the period of exile.

    Trekking enthusiasts can set out on a hike to the rolling grassy hills of Wai village, located on the banks of Krishna River. This 14 KM long trail is very scenic and it provides you an opportunity to closely witness the natural splendors this region is blessed with. An activity that should not be missed while at Panchgani is paragliding. Paragliding activities are mainly based out of Table Land - which is a huge flat-bedded area adorned with a carpet of grass. Situated at an altitude of 4550 feet above the sea level, it is the second largest mountain plataeu in Asia spread across an area of 100 acres. The topography of the place is ideal for paragliding. The high altitude of Table Land serve as excellent launch pad, while the vast plains below act as the perfect landing point. If you are looking for some adrenaline rush, do make sure to go for a paragliding joyride at Panchgani.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Kate's Point
    2. Sydney Point
    3. Boating at Venna Lake
    4. Lingmala Waterfalls
    5. Adventure caving at Rajpuri Caves
    6. Trekking to Wai
    7. Paragliding at Table Land
    8. Kamalgad and Pratapgad Fort

    8. Shrivardhan

    Distance: 188 KM
    Travel Time: 3.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, Nature,
    Best Suited For: Family Trips, Trips with Friends

    Shrivardhan hosts one of the most scenic beaches in Raigad district of Maharashtra, nestled amidst the mountains in the north, the Arabian sea on the west and a mangrove creek in the south. The 188 KM drive from Mumbai can easily be completed in just 3.5 hours, making it a favorable weekend destination flocked by tourists from Mumbai. Shrivardhan is blessed with a number of majestic white sandy beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters that are ideally suited to spend a fun-filled relaxing day by the sea.

    The main attraction here is the Shrivardhan beach - a long 3 KM stretch of soft white sand powders. The coast-line is very clean and the waves are calm and gentle. The beach is also ideally suited for swimming as the waters are shallow. The sunset views are particularly fascinating, so don't miss the chance to capture the scene on your camera and re-live the wonderful moments later.

    You can taste a contrasting experience when you visit the nearby Harihareshwar beach. The rocky coast-line at this beach is bounded by the Brahmagiri and Morgiri Hills on either side and the sea is always turbulent with huge waves crashing on to the shore. In terms of scenic appeal, none of the neighboring beaches can match Harihareshwar. Moreover, the place is almost always devoid of tourists, making it an ideal retreat to to spend some quiet time with your loved one.

    Another adjacent beach that you must explore is Diveagar. This 5 KM long silver sandy beach is cuddled up between the Velas Creek on the right and Korli River on the left. With a lush green backdrop of Kevda trees and coconut palms, the Diveagar beach sports a very scenic outlook.

    The places of of interest in and around Shrivardhan include the historical stone inscriptions at Dhaj and Gadhegal, Agasti caves and a number of ancient temples. Last but not the least, don't forget to gorge on the sumptuous Konkani sea-food cuisines at this idyllic retreat - you will remember the delicious taste for a long, long time.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Shrivardhan Beach
    2. Harihareshwar Beach
    3. Diveagar Beach
    4. Sailing on the Arabian sea from the Jeevana port.
    5. Historical stone inscriptions at Dhaj and Gadhegal.
    6. Agasti Caves
    7. Peshwe Temple, Maha Kusuma Devi Temple (Mahakali and Mahalakshmi) and Shri Kshetra Harihareshwar Temple.

    7. Ratnawadi

    Distance: 179 KM
    Travel Time: 3.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Hills. History
    Best Suited For: Trips with Friends and Colleagues

    A small village overlooking the intimadating Mount Kalsubai peak, Ratnawadi is a place known for its rustic charm, scenic landscapes, historical attractions and several largely unexplored trekking trails. It is situated at a distance of 179 KM from the Mumbai city and can be an excellent choice for a short weekend trip.

    The most striking attraction here is the famous Ratnagad Fort. The 2000 years old fortified citadel has natural rock formations guarding its outer walls and the four entry points. Although parts of the fort are now in ruins, it still attracts many tourists due to the splendid natural scenery the place offers. Another historical attraction at Ratnawadi is the 9th century Amruteshwar Temple. It is one of the finest rock carved temples in India which showcases exclusive Arya-Dravidian artwork from the medieval era. Surrounded by hills and valleys, Ratanwadi is often identified as a popular trekking destination with several forest trails around the Ratangad fort. Trekkers and hikers from both Mumbai and Pune can be seen flocking the place over the weekend to participate in trekking expeditions. Ratnawadi serves as an excellent base for conquering the 5400 feet tall Mount Kalsubai peak belonging to the Sahyadri hills of the Western Ghats mountain ranges.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Ratnagad Fort
    2. Amruteshwar Temple
    3. Trekking to Mount Kalsubai

    6. Karjat

    Distance: 63 KM
    Travel Time: 1.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1 Day
    Destination Category: Hills. Adventure
    Best Suited For: Trips with Friends and Colleagues

    Are you yet to taste the fascination of white water rafting? Thanks to Karjat, Mumbaikars can experience the thrills of river rafting without having to go all the way to Rishikesh or Shimla.

    A drive of just about an hour and a half could take you to the quaint little village of Karjat situated in the Thane district of Maharashtra. Bounded by the Ulhas River, Karjat boasts of astounding scenic beauty in the lap of mountains and lush greenery. The picturesque landscapes, undulating hills, trekking trails, historic forts and rock-carved cave temples are the elements that have made Karjat a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai.

    River Ulhas originates from the mountains around Karjat and serves as an excellent white water rafting spot for the adventure enthusiasts. Manoeuvring your way through the grade 2 and 3 rapids of Ulhas would make you bounce in and out of gushing waters. You can literally feel white foam slosh all over you. You have the option to opt for short sections to start with and if you want some more adrenaline juices, then go for longer duration rafting adventure. If you are not travelling in a group, then also you can taste the river adventure by riding on a single-seater kayak or double-seater canoe. All in all, you can be assured of a wholesome adventure package during your Karjat trip.

    Apart from rafting and kayaking, the presence of several trekking trails and historical structures make Karjat a popular destination for travellers from Mumbai and Pune. Once you are done with your river adventure spell, go for trekking to the Kondana Caves belonging to the 1st century. The 15 KM trek offers mindblowing views of the Karjat landscapes and it is an enthralling experience to explore the ancient Buddhist culture depicted in stone sculptures over there. You may also climb up to the historical Kothaligad (Peth) Fort and the cave temple towards the East of Karjat. The place is unbelievably scenic, especially in the post monsoon days - so take some time out from all the exciting activities and relish the unbounded beauty of nature.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. White Water Rafting at Ulhas River
    2. Kayaking and Canoeing
    3. Kondana Caves
    4. Kothaligad Fort

    5. Ratnagiri

    Distance: 330 KM
    Travel Time: 7.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2-3 Day
    Destination Category: Beach, Hills, Water Sports, History
    Best Suited For: Couples, Trips with Family and Friends

    Ratnagiri is another popular beach holiday destination flocked by tourists from Mumbai. Blessed with grassy hills, pristine sea shores, beautiful rivers, enchanting waterfalls and thick evergreen forests, the place offers a rejuvenating experience to the tourists of all ages.

    Ratnagiri's lovely beaches and scenic coastline offer the much-needed hiatus from the breakneck pace of Mumbai's cosmopolitan lifestyle, while a bunch of exciting water sports activities provide the necessary thurst to the younger adrenaline junkies. Mandavi Beach is the most popular beach in this region for spending a quiet day with your loved one, while the Bhatye Beach is a water sports hub that is always bustling with lots of activities. Mirkarwada Beach, Ganeshgule Beach, Pandre Beach and Aare Beach are the other prominent beaches in and around Ratnagiri where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset in a calm and cool atmosphere.

    For the history and heritage lovers, Ratnagiri has some of the magnificent forts built during the Shivaji period. The Jaigad Fort, located at the confluence of Shastri river and the Arabian sea, is a magnificent place. There is a lighthouse in close proximity offering impeccable views of the colossal sea. The Ratnadurg Fort, which was a stronghold of the Maratha empire, is equally impressive. Situated on top of a cliff, the spectacular views of sunset as seen from here is sure to amaze the nature lovers. Another must visit place at Ratnagiri is the Thibaw Palace. Distinct Tibetan architecture of this historical structure attracts quite a lot of visitors.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Mandavi Beach
    2. Bhatye Beach for water sports activities.
    3. Mirkarwada Beach,
    4. Ganeshgule Beach
    5. Aare Beach
    6. Pandre Beach
    7. Ratnadurg Fort
    8. Thibaw Palace
    9. Jaigad Fort and Lighthouse
    10. Tilak Ali Museum

    4. Murud-Janjira

    Distance: 151 KM
    Travel Time: 3 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, Hills, History
    Best Suited For: Couples, Family Trips

    Situated in the Raigad district of Maharashtra at a distance of 151 KM from Mumbai, Murud Janjira can be yet another exciting weekend travel destination for the Mumbai residents. The place is not only famous for its marvelous beaches overlooking the majestic mountains, but also attracts the heritage seeking tourists due to the presence of ancient forts and palaces.

    The golden sandy shoreline lined with coconut palms and casuarina trees and the crstal-like sea will induce you to dive into the turquoise waters. You can just relax on the beach and spend your day basking in the glorious Konkan sunshine. Going for a romantic stroll in the evening towards the canopy of Casuarina trees on the backdrop of a setting sun can be an unforgettable experience.

    Among the historical attractions, the magnificent fortress of Janjira deserves a special mention. Built in the 16th century, the citadel is encompassed by the majestic Arabian Sea from all sides. Regarded as a stronghold of the Siddhi dynasty, the fort gained reputation as an impregnable fortress that could never be conquered by the British and the Maratha warriors. The ruins of Kasa Fort is yet another heritage site at Murud spanning across an area of 9 acres. It was built by the Marathas in a bid to conquer the Janjira Fort, but they could not succeed in their attempts.

    The marvelous Ahmedganj Palace belonging to the former Royal Nawabs is a must visit attraction at Murud. The palace exhibits a combination of Mughal and Gothic style of architecture and houses a marvelous mosque and the tombs of the previous rulers inside the 45 acres enclosure. Among the other tourist attractions, the cascading Garambi Falls gushing down from a height of over 100 meters is a spectacular sight. There is a dam constructed near the waterfalls. Situated amidst lush greenery, it's an amazingly picturesque location and popular picnic spot.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Murud Beach
    2. Janjira Fort
    3. Kasa Fort
    4. Ahmedganj Palace
    5. Garambi Waterfalls and Dam

    3. Daman

    Distance: 177 KM
    Travel Time: 3.5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 2-3 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, Adventure
    Best Suited For: Couples, Trips with Friends

    Daman is the capital of Daman and Diu Union Territory and it lies between the two states of Maharashtra and Gujrat. Easily accessible from Mumbai by road, it is turning out to be one of the most popular weekend hangouts for the younger generation. Located at a distance of 177 KM from Mumbai, Daman is an exotic place to spend your weekend with a grand family trip. The place is equally appealing as a honeymoon destination and the water sports activities make it an addictive magnet to the adventure junkies.

    The cool beaches, lush greenery, adventure prospects and most importantly, the easy availability of cheap liquor are the main reason for Daman's popularity as a perfect weekend getaway among the youngsters from Mumbai. The exotic sea-shore at Devka is surrounded by lofty Casuarina groves, and the clear blue sea is every tourists’ delight. You can indulge in surfing and jet-skiing at this tranquil location. There is an Amusement Park here which can provide you some thrilling and funny moments. Once you are done with the adventure and fun, head to the Jampore beach for catching spectacular views of sunset. There is a lighthouse right next to the sea shore that can provide a great panoramic view of Daman's landscapes.

    A popular hangout for the newly married couples, the Mirasol Lake Garden can be visited for breathing some fresh air and going for a boat ride. If you love visiting the heritage sites, then make sure to pay a visit to the huge Saint Jerome Fort built by the Portugese sailors. Also known as the Nani Daman Fort, the structure is bounded by the Arabian sea in one side and the Damanganga river on the other. Another place worth visiting in the Daman city is the Cathedral of Bom Jesus - which is the most important religious monument for the native Catholic community.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Devka Beach for Water Sports activities.
    2. Jampore Beach for scenic beauty.
    3. Boating at the Mirasol Lake Garden.
    4. Saint Jerome Fort
    5. Cathedral of Bom Jesus

    2. Chiplun

    Distance: 247 KM
    Travel Time: 5 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
    Destination Category: Beach, Hills, Nature
    Best Suited For: Couples, Family Trip

    Located at a distance of 247 KM Mumbai, Chiplun is a calm and peaceful weekend getaway. Blessed with splendid natural beauty, Chiplun has beautiful hills, pristine beaches, dancing waterfalls, meandering rivers and rich historical presence to keep the tourists engaged.

    Located on the outskirts of Chilun town, the beautiful shore-line at Guhagar mesmerizes the travellers with its scenic charm. The Guhagar beach is decorated by miles of pristine white sands with the Casuarina trees providing a delicate shade. Water Sports activities like jet skiis, banana boat rides, inflatable bumper rides have been introduced at Guhagar beach recently and since then it is experiencing a steady rise in tourist count.

    The milky white Sawatsada waterfalls is a sight not to be missed. Set amidst lush canopy of forests, the place has a magical touch to re-energize your body and soul. The Koyna Dam, one of the largest dams in the country, boasts of mindblowing natural beauty, while the cave temple of Marleshwar is equally blessed with the riches of nature. If adventure is on your mind, then go for adventure caving at the pre-historic Pandavas caves formed by the laterite rocks. According to Indian mythology, these rock shelters are believed to be constructed by the Pandava brothers of Mahabharata. Gowalkat Fort, Lord Parsurama Temple and Walawalkar Shivaji Museum are the other notable tourist attractions at this lovely little place.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Guhagar Beach for Jet-skiing, banana boat rides.
    2. Sawatsada Waterfalls
    3. Koyna Dam
    4. Marleshwar Cave Temple
    5. Adventure caving at the Pandavas Caves
    6. Gowalkat Fort
    7. Lord Parsurama Temple
    8. Walawalkar Shivaji Museum

    1. Kamshet

    Distance: 102 KM
    Travel Time: 2 Hours
    Suggested Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
    Destination Category: Hills, Nature, Adventure
    Best Suited For: Trips with Friends and Colleagues

    Arguably the most fascinating and best weekend getaway from Mumbai, Kamshet is a hill station nestled at an altitude of 2200 feet above the sea level in the Konkan region of Western Ghats mountain ranges. It offers a perfect blend of adventure and serenity. While lush green forest cover, tantalizing viewpoints and gorgeous waterfalls give it a natural aroma, it is also a popular spot for adventure activities. Located around 102 KM away from Mumbai and 56 KM from Pune, Kamshet is flocked by adventure seekers from both these places in huge numbers.

    For paragliders, the mountain terrain offers the right altitude to take off and the distant plains act as the ideal landing ground. Kamshet has one of the best paragliding facilities in India with world-class safety measures. Add to that the mesmerizing scenic beauty of the place, bounded by undulating hills and serene lakes. The in-flight views from up above the ground look very impressive. Soaring over the Pawna Lake and gliding past the deep mountain valleys can be an extremely rewarding experience. Not surprisingly, it has become a very popular retreat for the hardcore paragliding aficionados looking for some challenging flying experience.

    In case flying is out of the equation for you due to whatsoever reasons, then you can definitely enjoy trekking through the forested trails. You can go on a trek to the Tower Hills or try climbing up the Kondeshwar Cliff. The Kondeshwar Cliff is a great place to experience overnight camping. The Pawna Lake shore is another excellent camping site. It also offers you the opportunity of angling and fishing. You may also explore the Bhaja Caves constructed in the second century.

    Tourist Attractions and Activities:

    1. Paragliding
    2. Pawna Lake for overnight camping, angling and fishing.
    3. Tower Hills
    4. Trekking and camping at the Kondeshwar Cliff
    5. Bhaja Caves

    As evident from the above compilation, Mumbai has no dearth of weekend getaways. So pack your travel gear, book your accommodation and set out on a fun-filled, revitalizing trip to one of the many tourist destinations of your choice. And yeah, don't forget to share your fantastic experience with the fellow forum members.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Wow, that list is very informative! It really makes you want to go to India and explore all of it. I especially adore Lonavala and Khandala, that picture is just perfect. It's no wonder that they use that location for many Bollywood films. Unfortunately, my husband and I are not much of hikers. We have done a few and were dead tired after it, lol. And we've done hiking only locally. So do you recommend hiking for beginners in Lonavala and Khandala? I loved that first hike we had but I'm not sure if we can survive a difficult hike.

  3. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    The trek from Lonavala to Rajmachi is quite easy. The slopes are gentle and the climbs are not steep. Although it's on the longer side as far as the distance is concerned (14 KM), any physically stable person with decent stamina can complete this with a little effort. There is another trail between the same places, which goes along NH-4 for a few kilometers. Distance is a tad longer (18 KM), but it is even more easier.

  4. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Kamshet really appeals to me - I love outdoorsy stuff and things that get the adrenalin racing when I travel, and I would love the opportunity to try paragliding! It's something I've never tried before, but the views just look incredible. I'm also a big fan of hiking so it sounds like there's plenty there to appeal to me.

    It's good too, as I'll use Mumbai as a base for travel, really - being able to head to Kamshet as a weekend getaway is perfect!
  5. Vinaya

    Vinaya Member

    I have not been to Mumbai thus most of these getaways from Mumbai are unknown to me. I know Mumbai is a coastal city, therefor I though most of the activities are surrounded/based in sea.How wrong I was.
  6. swalia

    swalia Guest

    I had just a brief stop over at Mumbai while travelling to Bangalore. But since there was just two hour's difference between our connecting flights, we preferred to stay at the airport only. If I ever visit Mumbai, I would like to visit Matheran, Lonavala and Khandala. I have heard so much about these places.
  7. I will specially vouch for Lonavla and Khandala. They are pretty close to Mumbai and are absolutely awesome places to spend a relaxing weekend surrounded by nature. I have been there many times and in my opinion the best time to go is during the monsoon. The greenery is at it's fullest during this time and there are also waterfalls at many locations which add to the scenery.
  8. Elaine Lat

    Elaine Lat Member

    Kayaking in Kolad, trekking in Lonavala and Khandala and parachuting in Kamshet all look like great fun to me. I only imagined doing these activities in my top four destinations of Iceland, Greenland, Australia and New Zealand and never anywhere else. Perhaps I really need to take a close look at more places and adventure trips to India.